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Top 30 Seasons Under Bill Self: #17 Sherron Collins 2010

Northern Iowa v Kansas Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Usually I lead with the positives and then get to the negatives, but I am going to flip flop here and lead with my thesis statement of “if Kansas would have gotten Cole Aldrich and Marcus Morris more touches all season they would have won the 2010 national title.” As it is, Collins decided that when things got a bit shaky in the first half against Northern Iowa, he needed to rescue the Jayhawks all by himself. One could argue he had the right to do so given some of his heroics in 2009, and the big shot he hit in the 2008 title game, but the end result was 10 points on 15 shots (including 0-6 from three) and 5 turnovers.

It wasn’t just a one game problem: Collins took 434 shots from the field that season, which was most on the team by a fairly wide margin (2nd was Xavier Henry with 354). Despite this, he ranked last among all Jayhawks in the starting lineup (and all Jayhawks with a usage rate of 20+) in effective field goal percentage. He didn’t really make up for it with his passing either: his assist rate is 12th among KU point guards since just 2008. He also wasn’t great at getting to the line, ranking 23rd since 2008 among KU guards in free throw rate.

So why is he ahead of some other guys? Frankly, because this isn’t a list of “who would be the best players if they all got the same amount of playing time and shots.” It’s easy for me to say that Kansas would have been better off relying on Cole Aldrich in 2010, and while I think that’s true, 1. that’s not what happened and 2. who Bill Self trusts carries a lot of weight with me in terms of who the best players are. I may catch him someday, but right now he’s 706 career victories ahead of me so I’ll pay attention to what he says.

Collins also was one of the best long range shooters Kansas has ever had. He shot 37 percent on 189 attempts as a senior, and a lot of those were either 1. deep or 2. off the dribble (or both). He was also clearly the number 1 option on that team, so it’s not like teams were leaving him alone. He also gets some points for his numbers not being dependent on beating up on bad competition. His usage against top 100 and top 50 opponents was higher than his overall usage, and his true shooting percentage fell just three percentage points.

Collins wasn’t the most well-rounded player Bill Self has had at Kansas, and deserves legitimate criticism for the way things ended, but he was a relatively efficient extremely high volume shooter who probably would have been better off on a team like the 2013 team who needed someone who could break down the defense over and over again. He also gets bonus points for being the number 1 option on what ended up being probably the 2nd best team in the country in 2010. A couple breaks here and there, or maybe a few more possessions deferring, would have shot him up the list, but he’ll have to settle for 17th.

Previous entries:

18. Darrell Arthur 2008

19. Cole Aldrich 2010

20. Ben McLemore 2013

21. Markieff Morris 2011

22. Andrew Wiggins 2014

23. Jeff Withey 2013

24. Josh Jackson 2017

25. Marcus Garrett 2020

26. Travis Releford 2013

27. Perry Ellis 2015

28. Udoka Azubuike 2018

29. Wayne Simien 2004

30. Devonte Graham 2017

31. Malik Newman 2018

32. Wayne Selden 2016

33. Keith Langford 2004